SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Robert Allenby appeared outraged, vindictive and spiteful in his first public comments since leaving Honolulu two weeks ago following an alleged attack that he says left him beaten and bloodied.
And he should be. Clearly something happened to him that night and clearly he doesn’t know what it was.
But here’s the part where it all gets confusing: Allenby didn’t show as much resentment toward those he says left him with facial lacerations and lingering headaches as he did against another group of people.
No, he instead seemed more irritated with the media.
When asked what’s most surprised him in the past 10 days, he responded, “I realized that I don't have any friends in the media. Maybe one. That's it. That's all I can say on that.”
That might be all he can say, but I’ve got a little more to add.
Members of the media aren’t supposed to be “friends” with those they cover. Can relationships be forged over time between people in each party? Of course. But if Allenby is condemning reporters for doing their jobs and not being more chummy with him in the reporting of this story, well, that’s a condemnation with which we can easily live.
He didn’t stop there, either. Allenby held media reports accountable for labeling him as a culprit rather than the victim.
“I never lied to anyone,” he insisted. “I only told you what I knew and what someone had told me. That is the bottom line. From that, obviously the media have decided that they are the most amazing experts at investigations. There is a reason why detectives in Honolulu are some of the best in the world. I think I'd really appreciate if we just let them do their job and maybe we could get to the bottom of it.”
It’s at this point that we should note two important dates on the timeline of events following the alleged attack.
On Jan. 18, two days after the incident, he went on national television and told the story of his “kidnapping.” There was no blaming the media when he was using them to absolve himself of any wrongdoing.
And on Tuesday, he called a news conference for himself. It wasn’t mandatory. He scheduled this news conference to, in part, antagonize the media for doing its job – reporting the story of what might have happened that Friday night.
There remain plenty of curiosities in this story. What happened to Allenby during the two-hour, 21-minute period that he can’t remember? How did he receive those bruises? Who stole his credit card and is using it at retail stores around Honolulu?
Now we can add one more curiosity to that list, as Allenby appeared combative toward media members – all while setting up his own news conference to speak with them.